Mining Beauty: Art and Development in Niger

Book Manuscript in Preparation

In Mining Beauty: Art and Development in Niger, I write an art history of the Republic of Niger from 1958 until 2009 that upends both canons of African art and narratives of postcolonial nationhood. By foregrounding the political and economic treatment of the visual arts, I depict a distinct modernity shaped by uranium and expressed through textiles, fashion, sculpture, and museum galleries.  In their decades-long convergence in Niamey and other cities, Nigerien artisans’ biographies reflect the intersecting trends of urbanization, nationalism, and economic development shared by many Africans. However, artisans’ unique contributions as makers and organizers also reveal important, understudied views of modern African citizenship.